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By the Numbers: Week 1 losses

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Contrary to what you might read scrolling through message boards, the sky has continued to hold in place above Nippert Stadium.

For all those casting the mold for the Brian Kelly statue outside the stadium at Notre Dame, they should probably take their time. The same should be said for those casting dispersions on Butch Jones.

Everybody associated with the UC program would have liked to see a better performance on Saturday at Fresno. It didn't happen. It doesn't define the season.

If I told you last Friday that the Bearcats would again make a BCS Bowl game, let's say play in the Orange Bowl against the ACC champion, you would be pretty thrilled.

And Jones' first season would be deemed a success.

I am in no way saying that is going to happen here, but the result of Saturday's game means little when analyzing whether or not it will. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the numbers, shall we?

Here is a list of all the teams in the last five years that lost their first game of the season (with a few exceptions I consider the honorable mention category) but rebounded to find themselves in a BCS bowl game:

2009

Oregon Ducks

Opener: Lost, 19-8, at Boise State (of the WAC conference, incedentally)

Finish: 10-2, PAC-10 champ

Bowl: Rose Bowl, lost 26-17 to Ohio State

Iowa

Opener: Won, 17-16, at home vs. Northern Iowa (yeah, they won, but this was a disastrous start in a game they undeniably should have lost)

Finish: 10-2, at large selection

Bowl: Orange Bowl, beat Georgia Tech, 24-14

2008

Virginia Tech

Opener: Loss at East Carolina, 27-22

Finish: 9-4, ACC champ

Bowl: Orange Bowl, beat Cincinnati, 20-7

2007

Illinois

Opener: Loss at Missouri, 40-34

Finish: 9-3, at large

Bowl: Rose Bowl, lost 49-17 vs. USC

Virginia Tech

Opener: Loss, 49-7 at LSU (Technically, this was Week 2, but it was so lopsided, it serves the purpose of this analysis) 

Finish: 11-2, ACC champ

Bowl: Orange Bowl, loss, 24-21 vs. Kansas

2004

Virginia Tech

Opener: Loss, 24-13 vs. No. 1 USC

Finish: 10-2, ACC champ

Bowl: Sugar Bowl, loss vs. Auburn, 16-13 

 

Coming back from a disappointing opening week has been done before. The fact that it was done twice last season should be enough imperical evidence on its own. 

If not, Virginia Tech's very existence as a college football power should be proof considering three times in the last five years they lost thier opener but went on to make a BCS bowl. 

There is a chance they will go four of the last six after losing to Boise State in the opener on Monday. 

What does all this mean? 

Well, Saturday was not good, but it wasn't a disaster. Teams come back from an opening week loss every year. It's not crazy to think UC could be the team to do it this season.

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